599 janitors were cheated out of their salaries at Cheesecake factory that is located in Brea, Irvine, Mission Viejo, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, San Diego and Escondido. The California Labor Commissioner announced this on Monday, June 11. The eatery chain was found conjointly viable owing its janitorial subcontractors around $4.57 million in unpaid wages and overtime, rest period violations, meals and damages. Also, the failure to deliver itemized pay stubs and even time penalties were among the issues raised.
The investigation was launched back in the year 2016 in December. The case covered a three-year period. The organization has sub-contracted its cleaning to the Americlean Janitorial services corporation. The company was a Minneapolis organization that was conducting business as Allied National Services. The employees were monitored by San Diego – founded ‘Magic Touch Commercial Cleaning’. The owner of the company was known as Zulma Villegas. Labor Commissioner Julie Su reported that the owner should pay the janitors $4.57 million.
Immediately after the investigations began, Zulma Villegas transformed her company’s name to Z’s Commercial Quality Cleaning. Julie Su said that the company would also be charged for the actions. The commissioner reported that if the state does not manage to collect the employees’ wages from Zulma, the chain of restaurants will have no other choice but to pay the wages.
A California’s 2015 law stipulates that employers are liable for any violations at the working stations when they contract services. Assembly Bill the year 1897 says that a client employer is responsible for the sub-contractors owed damages, wages and penalties inclusive of workers compensation violations. In this case, there was evidence of common wage theft practices that saw janitors go unpaid for wages totalling $4.57 million.
Julie said that theft was witnessed where businesses were sub-contracted and contracted to evade the responsibility of ensuring that the employees’ wages are paid in full. Julie continued to say that client’s businesses should stop shielding themselves from liability wage theft through several lists of contracts. The commissioner reported that the law enforcement not only benefits the employees but also legitimizes janitorial businesses that are stolen from by wage robbers.
According to the investigator’s reports, the janitors reported working throughout the week. They started their shifts at around midnight and worked tirelessly until morning without proper working conditions and meals. Also, they were not given break periods. After working for a continuous 8 hour work period, the Magic Touch employees were not released as they waited until the Cheesecake factory managers arrived in walking through reviewing the work.